NIO to debut flagship ET7 in Germany end of 2022
According to a press release, Chinese luxury electric carmaker NIO announced in the aftermath of the Munich IAA motor show that it will debut its flagship sedan ET7 as its first model to be delivered in Germany in Q4 of 2022.
“Entering Germany is the objective that we’re striving for. Interest is very high with many requests from potential users there,” said William Li, founder and CEO of NIO. “Our target is to have ET7 in Germany by the end of 2022.” This month NIO is starting to deliver its first SUVs ES8 in Norway, its first foothold in Europe.
Five-meter long premium sedan
Beginning of 2021, NIO presented in China its new ET7 flagship, a five-meter long ‘premium’ sedan with a choice of a ‘swappable’ battery of 70, 100, or 150 kWh. The ET7 looks closely like the initial concept envisioned by the original BMWi design team and completes the ES8, ES6, and EC6 line-up.
The two basic versions (70 and 100 kWh) will cost between 47 750 euros with a rented battery and 63 900 euros battery included in China. Battery rental prices in the ‘Battery as a Service’ NIO is pioneering with CATL, vary from €124 to €187 per month. And NIO’s (NAD) self-driving features will be offered as ‘Autonomous Drive as a Service’.
The new flagship is huge and sleek with its 5 098 mm length, 1 987 mm width, and 1 505 mm height. A panoramic roof of nearly two square meters covers the entire cockpit. The aerodynamic drag coefficient (Cd) is only 0.23. To compare: an SUV has a Cd between 0.35 and 0.45.
The interior design looks very tight yet minimalistic with a 10,2-inch instrument screen and a 12,8-inch Tesla-like central display. The ‘smart vents’ for ventilating and heating the interior are quasi-visible, as are the 23 speakers of the premium (standard) sound system. Other standard premium features are air suspension, retractable door handles on soft-closing doors, and massage seats in the front and rear.
Three swappable battery options
The NIO ET7 features an electric all-wheel drivetrain of 480 kW (180 kW front, 300 kW rear) and 850 Nm torque. It is said to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/hour in just 3,9 seconds and counts on a Brembo brake system to stop at a short distance.
With the 70, 100, or 150 kWh battery options, NIO claims (NEDC) ranges of respectively 500, 700, and 1 000 kilometers. Unfortunately, prices for the European version of the NIO ET7 are not unveiled yet.
NIO says if demand for the ET7 in Europe is high, it will consider cooperating with local subcontractors to build the cars on the old continent. That might be another opportunity for Dutch NedCar, losing BMW as a client for building MINIs and the X1. Instead, it will assemble the Lifestyle EV of Californian start-up Canoo for Europe and the US in 2022.
Taking on the mass market
NIO is also planning to take on the mass market with a cheaper fully electric model range in the future. “The relationship between NIO and our new mass-market brand will be like that of Audi-Volkswagen and Lexus-Toyota,” Chief Executive and founder William Li said in August lately.
NIO’s European CEO is Berliner Alex Schwarz, who used to be Airbnb’s General Manager for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and previously worked for PayPal and eBay. “We need to heavily rely on the software, mobile internet, and cloud technologies going forward,” said NIO’s CEO Li. “Alex’s experience is going to be very significant for us.”
The Chinese carmaker and Israeli Mobileye, Intel’s self-driving division, have had a close relationship since 2019. At the IAA in Munich, NIO also announced it will be launching together with Mobileye and German car rental giant Sixt SE a self-driving ride-hailing robotaxi service as a test in Munich, based on the ES8 SUV in 2022.